EMPEROR NORTON'S STATIONARY MARCHING BAND
This disc from a gang of longtime local circus favorites distills years of manic street band performances into a rich, diverse offering. The Stationary Band melts down steampunked Gypsy marches, klezmer freakouts, and Dixieland jazz rags into a sort of post-apocalyptic shuffle. There are the full-on foreign land workouts like “Gilahari Laku Lerky Unky Delunky Turkan Hey,” a churning waltz with horns and violins that swing like flying daggers. There are cheeky jazz vamps like the chorus line-spanking “I Forget” while “Disco Balls (Hot Pants),” one of the record’s best moments, hints at a world of sly Eastern European spy flicks scored by Isaac Hayes. The record shifts locales from Berlin nightclubs to Nino Rota-scored Italian back alleys, but the most raucous moments might still be those most reminiscent of the kingpins of Balkan brass, Fanfare Ciocarlia. Dizzying jams like “Kindly Do Not Attempt to Cloud the Issue With Facts” and “Crzi Voz” shred through somersaulting melodies with ease while evoking the Fanfare’s piston-like party horn beats and frenzied instrumental attack.
Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band performs an album release show Friday night at Johnny D's in Somerville.